One con­duc­tor’s con­duct

Los Angeles Times - - CALENDAR -

Gus­tavo Du­damel told The Times that he is “an artist, not a politi­cian” [“Out of Sync on Venezuela,” May 31]. So what does an artist do in a bru­tal, re­pres­sive and au­thor­i­tar­ian regime? Can he or she hon­estly claim that he or she is above pol­i­tics?

That was the dilemma of Wil­helm Furt­wan­gler (1886-1954), one of the great con­duc­tors of the 20th cen­tury. He was at the height of his ca­reer when the Nazis came to power. And then, while many of his fel­low artists de­cided to leave Ger­many as an act of protest, Mae­stro Furt­wan­gler de­cided to re­main there. Mr. Du­damel must ac­cept that free­dom, democ­racy and hu­man rights are above pol­i­tics. There is no other way. Raul De Car­de­nas Los An­ge­les

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